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The Social Positivists

 the society for the advancement of positive knowledge 

Jesus Is Not A Liberal

Abstract:

The common man sees Jesus as a liberal. A social gospel was established on that basis, some went so far as to fashion a prosperity gospel. The inarguable fact that Jesus was not a capitalist does not give anyone the right to accuse him of socialism. It is a perverse kind of theology that declares God is dependent on the state for his Plan to unfold. Too many see God is as limited to the same economic choices they have. Too few considered that perhaps the solution was to follow Gods economic teachings rather than trying to force God to follow theirs. Regardless, Jesus is not a liberal.

 

 

Many there are who think Jesus was a liberal, perhaps even a Communist. People see his love and charity as examples of liberalism and his injunction to give their property to the poor as a kind of early communism. This is not so. Jesus is not, was not and cannot be a liberal. Liberals are by necessity atheists.

However, no one is likely to claim Christ was a capitalist. But to admit he did not promote private enterprise capitalism is not support for the liberal argument. Indeed, if we assume Jesus is God is it even reasonable to suppose he and his economic teachings are not going to reflect what secular writers advocate.

This conclusion may appear to pose a dilemma for Christians. If Jesus was not a capitalist and not a liberal socialist what was he and what does this mean for the church? If he was neither are we to be one or the other?

It may be that many Christians are glad Jesus was not a capitalist and that his views cannot be equated with the libertarian viewpoint. Maybe his unequivocal opposition to greed may please Christians because for most of us this means the only possible conclusion we can come to is that no matter what else he says the only thing he could be given that he was not a capitalist is a communist. Why this matter is because we understand socialism is not a reasonable idea. Christ may not be a capitalist but for us to be socialist is not an option so this part of Christs teachings can be safely ignored.  Socialism is something for perfect beings to engage in and human fools and we do not consider ourselves neither so we are supporters of Adam Smith’s book of ideas not God’s.  We carry on being capitalists secure in our confidence that not even Christ himself can call us out on this score. Not even God Himself can really expect us to be communists. He seemingly left us no choice but to be capitalists.

Possibly we are wrong.

Maybe God knows more about economics than either Karl Marx or Adam Smith and the Chicago School. What if humans have got it wrong both times? What if the choice is not between communism and capitalism but between God and Babylon?

The most general definition of a liberal is one who freely gives of what they have, time or money or other asset. A liberal is also free of restraint apart of those he puts on himself, such as no liberal who hates going to bed early will believe it is a moral necessity to retire early. A liberal who cannot comprehend the killing of another human being will not think killing is a moral right in some situations.

Liberals tend to be tolerant of different views and standards of behavior in others. Not always a trait one sees in Jesus. The only intolerance liberals are guilty of is being intolerant of any restrictions being placed on their freedom to make free will choices without consequences. This is why they hate Jesus, Jesus makes them look bad and tells them the problem is facing them in the mirror and they do not like to hear this. Liberals do not like the idea of having to change.

Liberals are open to new behavior and willing to discard traditional values, social mores and established practices. A liberal politically is someone who favors gradual reform, especially political reforms that extend democracy, distribute wealth more evenly, and protect the personal freedom of the individual. This suggests liberals believe government should be active in supporting social and political change. But more importantly they look to government guarantees of individual rights and liberties. In fact, they rely on social institutions to set the moral tone because liberals do not have a fixed moral compass. Thus, liberal morality is subject to being normalized by constant subjection to a mode of behavior that might be offensive in its initial exposure but without a true moral center any behavior no matter how repugnant initially will eventually be considered acceptable and over time will become the new norm.

But behind this accent on freedom for the individual is their reliance on the state to ensure they do not experience any consequences for acting as if there were no barriers. They want to be able to give freely and not suffer any setbacks or undue hardships from their careless behavior. If they do not feel to give to a cause, liberals expect the state to step up and ensure the cause is funded through social means.  

Liberals do not believe there ought to be a need to choose. Consequences imply a need to consider costs and benefits. Liberals tend to be guided by emotion and just wish to enjoy life. They do not wish the responsibility of trying to figure out what a best course of action might be within any given situation.

Liberal freedom means they can make a choice without giving up anything. One could say they desire to have their cake and eat it too.

Liberal morality comes from their personal values that is their likes and dislikes. They expect a strong state to reflect their personal bias. If they are passive and fear violence their personal morality will reflect a strong pacifist position. If they are aggressive and strong they will want the state to let them settle their own score. The morality of an aggressive liberal will be poles apart from the moral code of a more pacifist atheist. Liberals do not care for tradition or moral codes or any external or objective restraint as this takes away their personal freedom. A less personal bias also hinders their adoption of a more customized morality. To subscribe to an absolute moral code or the idea that morality is anything more than the produce of the human will is to subscribe to limitations being put on their freedom. If anything typifies a liberal it is their focus on personal freedom.

Liberals believes that if he or she sees something is wrong and he or she cannot fix it with the assets at their disposal then the state ought to step in and ensure the situation is corrected. Liberals are morally naïve. They think their values are important. Liberals think that individual sensitivities are of such import that the state ought to ensure the individuals sense of entitlement is responded to. One is not to feel neglected or less than special. If something makes a liberal emotionally uncomfortable then the state must find some way to stop the triggering incident from happening.

There is no conception that uncomfortable situations might or ought to be endured. The liberal feels entitled to always feel emotionally justified.

If you do a liberal wrong this means the liberal feels wronged. If the liberal feels wrong this is categorical proof the liberal has been wronged. Even if the wrong was not done by you nor do the individual liberal himself if he or she feels wronged then an apology has to be forthcoming. For a liberal their emotional state is the deciding factor.

Needless to say none of this sounds like Jesus.

Jesus never considered himself entitled though of all persons he was the one person who had a right to feel entitled. Jesus never claimed his feelings had to be respected. He made himself of no account. He never went to the Romans and complain the Scribes and Pharisees were triggering him. He did not whine about being bullied by unsympathetic Jews. Jesus made himself lower not higher and of no account: Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Jesus, never told Scribe or Pharisee his feelings were hurt and they ought not to bully him. Jesus is not a liberal.

When asked by the rich man what he needed to do to be saved Jesus told him to sell what he had, give the proceeds to the poor and follow him. The rich man demurred. Jesus never called him a racist, right wing fascist or white supremacist. Jesus recognized the man’s right to his property and his right to dispose of it as he wished or not dispose of it at all. Jesus was not an Alt Leftist nor a liberal.

When Ananias and Sapphira sold a parcel of land, and kept back some of the proceeds they were killed, not for being selfish but for lying to the lord. No one told them they had to sell their land selling it was their choice. The disciples did not say they had to pay capital gains nor give 1/10th of all they had to the church. Selling the land for the brethren was their choice however, once they had made this choice and said the value belonged to God holding back some of this was stealing from God. 

Acts 5:1-10.  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

Charity is not unknown to liberals but they rely more heavily on government programs than Jesus would advocate. Jesus expected people to give from the heart and for the giving to be selfless. I do not think he would have agreed to the rule of many school boards that students had to serve as volunteers for a certain number of hours to graduate. Being forced to be charitable is not what charity is about.

Liberals do believe in private ownership or most do but ultimately ownership is not a right most liberals put much weight on or think highly of. Nothing really belongs to anyone in the liberal way of thinking. Ownership is contingent upon social needs. Perhaps liberals are resentful of Gods claim to the earth. Possession of property for a liberal is by the grace of the government. Therefore, ownership like morality is always contingent upon the government. If the need is greater elsewhere then ones property may be confiscated and assigned to a higher good.

Liberalism has a strong social engineering component therefore liberals are subject to the normalization of what would have traditionally been seen as repugnant activities. Gender confusion has resulted from the liberal sense that no one can impose a world view on anyone else. The individual has to be free to choose his or her or its gender.

All the resources of the land are viewed as material to be given up freely for the greater good. The liberal imagines his or her own imaginary generosity ought to be equaled by the rest of the world. Liberals see those with resources as a mine to be quarried for assets to achieve the ideological end to which they aspire. Government for a liberal is a way for personal goals to become a manifestation of government policy.

The problem for a liberal is that he sees his or her resources as the means for the fulfillment of his freedom but the rights of others to their goods becomes a hindrance to the fulfillment of the liberal social agenda.

The more a liberal is able to implement this transcendence of the individual from a simple part of a social group into a tool for achieving a social agenda the more the state and its programs move from conventional liberalism based on personal freedom to socialism and finally to communism. 

Personal freedom is hindered by a state whose social agenda is not geared to creating liberty for the liberal. But the more the state becomes the agent through which freedom is sought the more freedom is lost. But liberalism cannot exist without the state. The personal liberal agenda and the social agenda of liberalism even though they often conflict both require an interventionist state. Despite what is often argued Jesus never supported the state. At the very beginning when Israel demanded a king as the pagans did the state was declared an act denying the authority of God. The state however continued and it was given authority to protect the church. Jesus told us the State is not a threat to good works but he was talking about the just state. 

1 Samuel 8:5-7 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

The state was given the sword but the power of the state was not to be feared by those who did good works.

Romans 13: 1-8. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Yet how can one reconcile the words of God that the state is a rejection of God’s Suzerainty with Jesus statement ‘Whoseoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God …’. Those who say the state is part of Gods Plan face a paradox. Did God change his mind about the state being a rejection of himself? Was God wrong either about the state being a rejection of him or about man needing to obey the state? Or, is there a possibility mankind has interpreted one or other of these passages wrongly? Do you think you might be in error and not God?

The first statement seems plain enough to assume no error in interpretation can be made and so if this cannot be misconstrued it is fair to assume that God is not a supporter of governments no matter what the other statement says or seems to say.

The main thrust of the passage says Christians are not to precipitate evil. This is not a new teaching of one opposed to anything else the bible says. A government Jesus says is not a terror to good works. Lets assume the state is not godly but instead of opposing them focus on obedience and hope these leaders will come to God and learn the error of their ways. We are too bey and give them their dues. But in the final analysis he also declares we are to owe no man anything. But to love one another.

So lets play this out. A king comes to power and rules the nation, the people obey him. But what is the nature of a king or other leader? The probability is that the more one obeys the more power they are likely to seek. What is going to happen is that mankind in not opposing the ruler will heap coals of condemnation upon their heads. But the other point is that if everyone fully obeys the ruler what need is there for the ruler?

Rulers are not a terror to good works but who defines the good works? At some point the rule of man and the rule of God will be shown to be incompatible. However, it is not Christians who ought to precipitate rebellion.

This is not the place for a solution to the dilemma of the state to be gone into, needless to say if one really followed Christ the state would not exist simply because there would be no need for it to exist. Mankind created the need for the state by his disobedience. Jesus is not a liberal that he sees a need for the state were we following him.

 

Jesus never taxed anyone nor demanded they give their wealth to others but he insisted those who did were wiser than those who lived by greed and who amassed wealth for themselves. Liberal ideology is based on social engineering, the redistribution of resources to reflect a particular vision of what the New World Order ought to look like. Liberals may preach the joy of giving but they do not rely on the generosity of man they back up their agenda with the power of the state.

The economics of liberals which includes capitalism is predicated on greed and the legitimizing function of the state to assign and defend private capital. Only a liberal believes happiness is based on the possession of private property, Jesus never said this but Jesus is not a liberal.

The state never attempted to lessen its power and legitimacy to ensure God was given His due. The state has sought to increase its power and centrality before man but in the process lost legitimacy before God.

Jesus also scorned those who used the accumulation of wealth to reduce risk insisting risk could not be reduced in any meaningful way by large accumulations of wealth. We are even told not to worry about tomorrow. So, it seems God has a way to care for us that does not involve personal worry and personal accomplishment.

The liberal system relies on insurance to reduce risk but God wants us to rely on him and the church. If we loved God and our neighbor none of us would experience risk, if a man’s house burned down his neighbors would replace it. If a family fell on hard times his friends and neighbors would assist them to get back on their feet. There would be no need for insurance if we followed Jesus.

If Capitalism is about personal gain and personal accomplishment and a reliance on the individual’s ability to amass personal possessions and Jesus mocks this then Jesus is not a liberal. If Jesus told us to love one another and love our neighbor and not expect them to rely on the state for succor then Jesus is not a liberal and not a socialist. Liberalism go-to guy is government, not God. Liberalisms object of veneration is the self, not Jesus. Liberalism is not compatible with God or Christianity. Jesus is not a liberal.

 

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